Brave, Honest Paul Ryan

Source: Paul Krugman

Many people, e.g., Jonathan Chait, are noting that when Paul Ryan, deeply offended by the inaugural speech, declared that

No one is suggesting that what we call our earned entitlements — entitlements you pay for, like payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security — are putting you in a ‘taker’ category. No one would suggest that whatsoever.

the category “no one” includes one Paul Ryan, who declared back in 2010 that

Right now about 60 percent of the American people get more benefits in dollar value from the federal government than they pay back in taxes. So we’re going to a majority of takers versus makers.

Hey, wasn’t there something like this in Homer?

But while everyone has noted Ryan’s raw dishonesty here, let’s not let the cowardice pass unmentioned. If you’re a Randian conservative, as Ryan claims to be, then you should consider Social Security and Medicare every bit as much a part of the moocher conspiracy as Medicaid and food stamps. And don’t say that you pay for what you get: Social Security benefits aren’t proportional to payment, so that the system is somewhat redistributionist, and Medicare benefits don’t depend at all on how much you pay in, so that the system is strongly redistributionist. (You might even say that Medicare takes from each according to his ability, and gives to each according to his needs).

All of this is fine with me, but it should be anathema to Ryan. But he knows that Social Security and Medicare are popular, so he pretends that his radical philosophy has nothing bad to say about these programs, and that we can massively downsize government on the backs of the undeserving poor.

But remember, he’s a Brave, Honest Conservative. Everyone says so.

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About James Crist

How do we stop America's decline? The country is in trouble and we can all feel it. Where did we go wrong? How do we fix it? We now have an auction-based government, for sale to the highest bidder. Politicians have become nothing more than corporate whores and pawns for the rich. If we want our representatives to represent us, let them get their campaign money from us, their constituents. We have to amend the constitution to get the big money out of politics.
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